Tamjin teacherThe cherry blossoms are blooming. There are many trees in this southern province as they were planted by the Japanese during their last attempt at colonisation. They line the road up to my house and a student brought a sprig to my desk this morning. She told me their Korean name, ‘Sakura’, which I repeated back to her. ‘Ooo, doc doc’ says she – ‘clever’. It’s a good thing I’m irrefutably modest and humble or my ego would be planet sized, stuffed full of pride at my ‘small face’ and ability to repeat a Korean word.

The spring finds me well, if late at writing. Although it’s still a little cold in the mornings I have started cycling to school – a breaks-on whizz down the very long, very steep hill, then along the river to whichever tune the lampposts are cracking out. Today ‘Eye of the Tiger’ made me smile.

The start of spring term has been busy and bustling. After a long and quiet winter break it is rather nice to be greeted with ‘hello teacher’ when I leave my classroom. With the surge in student population I have also regained my comedian status. Sometimes I’m so funny in Korea all I need to say is ‘hi’ and students are in stiches. It’s made me think seriously about a career move, but I don’t know if I’d find as appreciative an audience anywhere else.